Read the latest articles and press releases about securitization and structured finance.

Industry News

Federal Judge Upholds ESG Investing Rule

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, ruled in favor of the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) 2022 rule, which allows retirement fund managers to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions. The judge rejected the states’ argument that the Administrative Procedure Act precluded the DOL’s proposed rule.

Industry News

GSEs, Ginnie Mae Expand Respective Social Bond Initiatives

On September 14, Ginne Mae announced the launch of a social bonds label for single-family MBS. Separately, on September 18, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced the expansion of single-family social disclosures for Super and Mega MBS pools.

ESG Score Dropped from S&P’s Debt Ratings Following Investor Feedback

Bloomberg reports that on August 4, S&P announced that they would no longer publish an ESG score alongside a credit rating when rating debt instruments. The move comes in response to investor feedback, which indicated confusion between the credit rating and the ESG score.

Industry News

HSBC Survey Indicates a Shifting ESG Landscape in the U.S.

HSBC’s recently released ESG survey indicates a rise in anti-ESG sentiment in the U.S. The survey, conducted from May to June 2023, polled 310 ESG professionals, representing 292 institutions with a collective $8.9 trillion in assets. In North America, nearly a quarter of respondents considered sustainability to be a primary or secondary objective, compared to 37% of respondents last year. Furthermore, about 44% of North American respondents reported a weakening in their motivations for implementing an ESG strategy.

Industry News

EU Unveils New ESG Rules and Taxonomy Criteria

The European Commission has introduced a new package of policy measures designed to promote sustainable finance in the EU. The package includes proposed rules for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) rating providers, to bolster transparency and reliability in the sustainable finance sector.

Industry News

Escalating Greenwashing Risks Emerge in the Financial Industry, According to European Regulators

New reports from Europe’s financial regulatory agencies identify a notable surge in the number of potential instances of greenwashing, defined by the European Supervisory Authorities as “a practice where sustainability-related statements, declarations, actions, or communications do not clearly and fairly reflect the underlying sustainability profile of an entity, a financial product, or financial services.”

Industry News

CFPB’s NPR to Prescribe ATR Rules for Residential PACE Loans

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Chopra announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) to address agency concerns with residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans. These loans tie the debt for energy efficient home renovations—solar panels and climate resiliency upgrades among them—to the property’s tax assessment.

Industry News

EU Could Waive Sustainability Disclosures for US Firms if SEC Rules Include Scope 3 Emissions

Proposed SEC climate change risk disclosures could qualify U.S. companies for a waiver from compliance with the EU corporate sustainability reporting requirements that were adopted by the EU in December 2022. The deciding factor may be the reporting of scope 3 emissions, those that are associated with the value chain—both suppliers and end-users—of a company’s product or services.

Industry News

EPA Proposes Carbon Emissions Rules for Vehicles Built from 2027-2032

On April 12, the EPA announced its proposed emissions standards for vehicles built from 2027, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to also propose an update to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards soon. Major manufacturers have already embraced the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) that would meet the new standards and avoid 7.3 billion tons of global warming emissions through 2055.

Industry News

President Biden Vetoes H.J. Res. 30 in Support of ESG Investing in Retirement Plans

On Monday, March 20, President Joe Biden used his first veto to strike down House Joint Resolution 30 that would have disapproved the Department of Labor’s final rule allowing fund managers to consider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations in their investment decisions in 401(k) and retirement plans.

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